On Dec. 11, former UFC lightweight champion made an emphatic move to challenge for the featherweight title by knocking out fellow contender Chad Mendes. He was promised he was next by the UFC brass afterwards, which put a smile on his face.
The next night, just a couple of casinos down from the Cosmopolitan where the 34-year old Edgar struck his claim, Conor McGregor knocked out longtime 145-pound champion Jose Aldo to marry the titles. He needed only 13 seconds to divest a legend 10 years at the MGM Grand. And when Edgar, the definitive next challenger for McGregor, was summonsed to enter the cage post-fight at UFC 194, his dream scenario vanished before his eyes.
Edgar’s manager Ali Abdel-Aziz and one of UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta’s assistants came to fetch him to enter the Octagon, but he was stopped in his tracks before he could enter.
"I thought they wanted me to go in the cage," Edgar said during an appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday. "And then as I’m about to walk in Dana [White] was walking out, he said, ‘you’re not going in there, Conor’s going up, blah blah blah, we might give Aldo a rematch, we don’t know.’ I just kind of…I’ve never been, I mean granted Conor put himself in a position to be in charge, but I’ve never been there. Usually I do what they ask me."
In the UFC 194 aftermath it was revealed that McGregor may be moving up to 155 pounds to challenge the winner of Donald Cerrone and Rafael dos Anjos, which took place a week later in Orlando. McGregor said what he wanted to do was to hold simultaneous titles at 145 and 155, an ambition that the UFC has traditionally not catered to.
Yet what it meant for Edgar was that a promise was being reneged upon, and a few weeks later "The Answer" said he’s still "pissed" over how things are playing out. Once again he suspects he’s going to be looked over for a title shot.
"For sure, I’m pissed," he told Ariel Helwani. "I’ve been at it for a while now, I’ve been knocking on the door for this title shot for a while. It started with Cub [Swanson]. If Cub beat me he was promised a title shot. I beat him, I finished him in pretty dominating fashion and no, I’m not even considered for that title shot. I take it in stride. I do everything in stride, I really do think I’m a company man, but it’s not really panning out for me being that way."
Asked if he was losing patience with being told one thing only to watch something else happen, he said he’s long past that.
"I’m there — I’m there already," he said. "I’m not one to sit there and cry about it. People, my whole career say, ‘you’re too quiet, you need to say stuff,’ and the minute you say something it’s, ‘you’re f*cking crying.’ I mean come on, you just can’t win with these people. And you really can’t pay attention to them. The people I need to talk to are Dana and Lorenzo, and they seem like they’re not listening either."
Edgar said the last time he spoke to Dana and Lorenzo was the night McGregor beat Aldo, on Dec. 12. These weeks later he says he doesn’t know anything more than he did then. And if McGregor does indeed decide to go up to compete at 155 pounds, Edgar said there's not a lot he can do about it.
"What am I going to do, scream and shout?" he said. "What can I do? Dana and Lorenzo, they know what I want man. People are like, 'you need to call them.' They f*cking know what I want. What, am I going to bother them? For what? For them to say no? So they can promise me something one day and say no the next? Come on."
When it comes down to it, Edgar said he’s not overly optimistic that the next time Conor McGregor fights, that it’ll be him standing opposite the Irishman.
"Realistically, I’m setting myself up for that already," he said. "I’m setting myself up for hope for the best, expect the worst. I’m expecting the worst."
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